Synergistic scaffolding of technologically-enhanced STEM learning in informal institutions

Leilah Lyons, Emma Anderson, Karen Elinich, Michael Tscholl, Chris Quintana, Jessica Roberts, Joyce Wang, Susan Yoon, Iris Tabak

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Scaffolding is often strongly associated with the structure of classroom educational software (Quintana et al., 2004), despite originally not involving classrooms or technology (Wood et al., 2007). Tabak argued that scaffolding can be productively distributed across a learning environment's varied educational resources, proposing a "synergistic scaffolding" design pattern: "different supports that augment each other; they interact and work in concert to guide a single performance of a task or goal" (Tabak, 2004). This symposium argues that synergistic scaffolding is particularly apt for informal learning environments like museums, where visitors draw on a diverse array of technological, social, and physical resources while learning. Examples spanning collaborative data exploration, multi-context inquiry learning, mixed-reality simulations, and augmented reality exhibits are presented. Each details the educational resources either intentionally designed into the environments or appropriated by visitors as they learn. These examples highlight how designers can enhance informal learning by looking for potential synergies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1465
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS
Issue numberJanuary
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Learning and Becoming in Practice, ICLS 2014 - Boulder, United States
Duration: 23 Jun 201427 Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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